Jacksonville-based advocacy organization One Protest and the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida join forces tomorrow to demonstrate against St. Augustine’s carriage-tour industry. The city is home to several carriage companies that offer narrated historical tours to visitors in horse-drawn carriages. The stretch of Avenida Menendez between the Castillo de San Marcos and the Bridge of Lions, known as the Bayfront, is their designated staging area, and will be the site of the protest.
Event organizers, who expect around 50 protesters, say the industry is archaic and inhumane, especially in the summertime, when heat and vehicle exhaust combine to create hazardous conditions. There are currently regulations in place, largely thanks to previous protests. A landmark 2012 ordinance, lobbied by the ARFF, limited hours and mandated basic hydration and treatment standards. It also enforced fines for violations.
Now, following victories in several other Florida cities, protesters are aiming for a complete ban on horse-drawn carriages in St. Augustine.